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Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Hong Kong

Today companies can choose from several international and local banks for opening a corporate bank account in Hong Kong. SMEs account for a large percentage of companies in Hong Kong and are a significant customer base for banks. Excellent cash management facilities, Internet banking that helps keep track of money movements, trade financing, short term and long term loans are the key finance requirements of any enterprise. All major banks in Hong Kong, local and international alike, have designed products and services to address these needs.

Opening a corporate bank account is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure. However, before you can open an account with a particular bank, it is important to be aware of what your banking needs are, so that you can match those needs with what each bank offers.

This article serves to compare features of a corporate bank account across major banks in Hong Kong.

Note that the information presented here is for general guidance only.

Account Opening Requirements in Hong Kong

Most banks in Hong Kong will require Hong Kong private limited companies and offshore companies to submit the following documents and information in order to open a corporate bank account.

Documents Required to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong

Bank account opening form that has been duly completed and signed by authorized signatories, as per the Board resolution.

  •  An extract of the board resolution approving the opening of a corporate bank account.
  • A certified true copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation, issued by the Companies Registry.
  • A certified true copy of the company’s Business Registration Certificate, issued by the Inland Revenue Department.
  • A certified true copy of the company’s Articles of Association.
  • A director declaration that provides the personal particulars of directors and principal shareholders. A principal shareholder is a person entitled to exercise or control the exercise of 10% or more of the company’s voting rights.
  • A copy of the Hong Kong identity card or passport; residential proof such as utility bills, bank statements, driving license etc.; and former name or alias proof (if applicable) for each of the directors, authorized signatories, principal shareholders and beneficial owners of corporate shareholders.
  • A list of specimen signatures of authorized signatories.
  • Proof of business such as business plan or audited financial statements.
  • For corporate shareholders of the company: A certified copy of an organization chart that shows the percentage of shareholdings held by each individual and the ultimate beneficial owners of the company.
  • Details of ultimate beneficial owners for nominee shareholders of a company.
  • For ultimate beneficiaries who are trusts: A certified copy of the trust deed or declaration of trust with details of the trustees, settlers and beneficiaries.

Important note: The copies of all documents submitted must be certified by either a certified public accountant, company secretary, lawyer or banker.

Other Requirements

  • In addition to the above-mentioned documents, most banks in Hong Kong will require an initial minimum deposit in order to open the bank account.
  • Offshore companies that are opening a corporate bank account in Hong Kong will need to submit a Certificate of Incumbency and Certificate of Good Standing in addition to the normal documents.
  • Almost all banks in Hong Kong follow strict due diligence procedures and require the account signatories, principal directors and shareholders to be physically present in Hong Kong at the time of opening the corporate bank account. However, some banks may authorize the opening of a corporate bank account without the need for directors, shareholders and signatories to be physically present in Hong Kong. The documents can be signed at one the bank’s overseas branches in the presence of a witness.

Corporate Bank Account Features of Major Hong Kong Banks

Local Banks 

Feature HSBC Hang Seng Bank Bank of East Asia
HK$ current account availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Foreign currency account availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Initial deposit. For HK$ current account: HK$5,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$5,000 or equivalent.

For HK$ current account: HK$50,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$50,000 or equivalent.

For HK$ current account: HK$5,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$5,000 or equivalent.

Average monthly balance. For HK$ current account (Business Vantage): HK$500,000.

 

For foreign currency account (Business Vantage): HK$500,000 or equivalent.

For HK$ current account: HK$50,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$50,000 or equivalent.

For HK$ current account: HK$5,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$5,000 or equivalent.

Monthly fee payable in the absence of average monthly balance. For HK$100,000-HK$500,000: HK$75.

 

For < HK$100,000: HK$150.

HK$150. HK$50.
ATM card availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Default ATM withdrawal limit per day. HK$20,000. HK$20,000. HK$20,000.
Chequebook facility. Yes for HK$ and US$. Yes for HK$ and US$. Yes for HK$ and US$.
Credit card availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Internet banking facility for enquiries, local payments, trade transactions, fund transfers, check status of issued cheques etc. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Unlimited internet transfer subject to account funds availability. No.

 

For non-designated account: HK$500,000.

For designated account: HK$1million.

No.

 

For non-designated account: HK$500,000.

For designated account: HK$5million.

No.

 

For non-designated account: HK$50,000.

For designated account: HK$2million.

Business insurance. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Business loans. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Trade finance. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Accounts Payable Services: Cashier’s order, DD, TT, auto pay outs, etc. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Accounts Receivable Services: Incoming TT, bill payment services, auto pay ins, etc. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Account setup fee. HK$100. HK$100. HK$150.

International Banks

Feature Bank of China Citibank Standard Chartered Bank
HK$ current account availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Foreign currency account availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Initial deposit. For HK$ current account: None.

 

For foreign currency account: None.

For HK$ current account: HK$10,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$10,000 or equivalent.

For HK$ current account: HK$1,000.

 

For foreign currency account: US$200 or equivalent.

Average monthly balance. For HK$ current account: None.

 

For foreign currency account: None.

For HK$ current account: HK$10,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$10,000 or equivalent.

For HK$ current account: HK$10,000.

 

For foreign currency account: HK$10,000 or equivalent.

Monthly fee payable in the absence of average monthly balance. None. HK$400. HK$100.
ATM card availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Default ATM withdrawal limit per day. HK$10,000. HK$20,000. HK$20,000.
Chequebook facility. Yes for HK$ and US$. Yes, for HK$ and US$. Yes, for HK$ and US$.
Credit card availability. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Internet banking facility for enquiries, local payments, trade transactions, fund transfers, check status of issued cheques etc. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Unlimited internet transfer subject to account funds availability. No.

 

For non-designated account: HK$2million.

For designated account: Unlimited.

Info not available. No.

 

For non-designated account: HK$100,000.

For designated account: HK$500,000.

Business insurance. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Business loans. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Trade finance. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Accounts Payable Services: Cashier’s order, DD, TT, auto pay outs, etc. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Accounts Receivable Services: Incoming TT, bill payment services, auto pay ins, etc. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Account setup fee. None. None.

None.

Consider this when opening a bank account

Most of the world’s major banks have a presence in Hong Kong. Prior to finalizing a bank for opening your corporate account it is important to take into account factors such as bank reputation; services and facilities offered; availability of future support services such as loans or trade financing; minimum deposit requirements, availability of Internet banking facility; and monthly fees (if any).

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